The Appreciative Man.
A man stood in the archway of an ancient temple. He took in the wonderful proportions and drank of the exquisite detail in an ecstasy of delight.
“Oh, great is art!” he cried in a frenzy. “Art is all! the only God!”
Just then an earthquake came mumbling along and jarred the whole country loose.
As the man picked himself out of the jumbled-up ruins into the dust-filled air, he encountered a lion who had lost his tail and his temper in the melee.
“Well, where’s your art now?” snarled the lion.
“All in my eye, I reckon,” answered the man, as he bathed his damaged optic.
[Illustration: The Appreciative Man.]
On the Not-Altogether-Credible Habits of the Ostrich.
An ostrich, who was closely pursued by a hunter, suddenly thrust his head deep down into the sand.
“Ah! ah!” exulted the hunter, “I have the silly thing at last.” He advanced to place a rope around the bird’s legs; but the ostrich, who had accurately timed his arrival, landed a kick in the pit of his stomach that sent him into the hereafter like a bullet through a fog-bank.
“Umph,” said the ostrich as he surveyed his victim, “because a man looks sad at the opening of a jack-pot, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he’s only got ace-high.”
[Illustration: On the Not-Altogether-Credible Habits of the Ostrich.]
The Idol and the Ass.
An ass felt it his duty to destroy superstition, so he went up to the brass idol in the market-place and gave it a vigorous kick.
A dog came to him as he lay groaning on the ground, nursing his broken leg, and said, “Well, did you prove anything?”
“Nothing,” said the other. “Except that I am an ass.”
Deductions to be drawn: Any old thing.
[Illustration: The Idol and the Ass.]
The Bee and Jupiter.
A Bee, the queen of all the hives, ascended to Olympus with a present of some super-refined honey for Jupiter.
The god was delighted with the honey, and in return offered to grant any request the Bee might make.
“Give to me, I pray, O Lord of the Heavens! a sting, that, small and weak as I am, I may not be defenceless against my enemies.”
Jupiter was quite put out at this demand, as he knew the weapon would be used principally against mankind, whom he much loved. But a god’s promise must be kept, so he said:
“It is granted you.”
“Many thanks, most potent one!” cried the Bee, running the new-gained weapon in and out with much satisfaction.
Jupiter sternly cut short her thanks, and continued:
“In using this means of defense and offense you will imperil your own life, for the sting shall remain in the wound it makes and you shall die from the loss of it.”